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Down from the rivulets, red with dashing rains,
The gathering floods burst o'er the distant plains;
Beneath the blasts the leafless forests groan;
The hollow caves return a sullen moan.

Ye hills, ye plains, ye forests, and ye caves,
Ye howling winds, and wintry swelling waves!
Unheard, unseen, by human ear or eye,
Sad to your sympathetic scenes I fly;
Where to the whistling blast and waters' roar
Pale Scotia's recent wound I may deplore.

O heavy loss, thy country ill could bear!
A loss these evil days can ne'er repair!
Justice, the high vicegerent of her God,
Her doubtful balance eyed, and sway'd her rod;
Hearing the tidings of the fatal blow

She sunk, abandon'd to the wildest woe.

Wrongs, injuries, from many a darksome den,
Now gay in hope explore the paths of men:
See from his cavern grim Oppression rise,
And throw on poverty his cruel eyes;
Keen on the helpless victim see him fly,
And stifle, dark, the feebly-bursting cry:
Mark ruffian Violence, distain'd with crines,
Rousing elate in these degenerate times;

two of next morning's sleep, but did not please me, so it laid by, an ill-digested effort, till the other day I gave it a critic-brush. These kinds of subjects are much hackneyed, and, besides, the wailings of the rhyming tribe over the ashes of the great are cursedly suspicious, and out of all character for sincerity. These ideas damped my muse's fire: however I have done the best I could.'--And in another letter to Dr. Geddes, he writes thus: "The foregoing poem has some tolerable lines in it, but the incurable wound of my pride will not suffer me to correct, or even peruse it. I sent a copy of it, with my best prose letter, to the son of the great man, the theme of the piece, by the hands of one of the noblest men in God's world, Alexander Wood, surgeon. When, behold! his solicitorship took no more notice of my poem or me than I had been a strolling fiddler, who had made free with his lady's name over a silly new reel! Did the gentleman imagine that I looked for any dirty gratuity?'

View unsuspecting Innocence a prey,
As guileful Fraud points out the erring way:
While subtile Litigation's pliant tongue

The life-blood equal sucks of Right and Wrong:
Hark, injured Want recounts th' unlisten'd tale,
And much-wrong'd Mis'ry pours th' unpitied wail!
Ye dark waste hills, and brown unsightly plains,
To you I sing my grief-inspired strains:
Ye tempests, rage! ye turbid torrents, roll!
Ye suit the joyless tenor of my soul.

Life's social haunts and pleasures I resign,
Be nameless wilds and lonely wanderings mine,
To mourn the woes my country must endure,
That wound degenerate ages cannot cure.

WRITTEN IN

FRIARS-CARSE HERMITAGE,

ON THE BANKS OF NITH.

This is from the original rough draft of the poem, in the possession of Mrs. Hyslop.

THOU whom chance may hither lead,
Be thou clad in russet weed,

Be thou deckt in silken stole,

Grave these maxims on thy soul.

Life is but a day at most,

Sprung from night, in darkness lost;
Day, how rapid in its flight-
Day, how few must see the night;
Hope not sunshine every hour,
Fear not clouds will always lower.
Happiness is but a name,
Make content and ease thy aim.
Ambition is a meteor gleam;
Fame a restless idle dream :

Pleasures, insects on the wing

Round Peace, the tenderest flower of Spring;
Those that sip the dew alone,

Make the butterflies thy own;

Those that would the bloom devour,

Crush the locusts-save the flower.

For the future be prepared,

Guard wherever thou can'st guard;
But thy utmost duly done,

Welcome what thou can'st not shun.

Follies past, give thou to air,

Make their consequence thy care.

Keep the name of man in mind,
And dishonour not thy kind.
Reverence with lowly heart,
Him whose wondrous work thou art;
Keep his goodness still in view,
Thy trust-and thy example, too.

Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide!
Quod, the Beadsman on Nithside.

EPISTLE TO HUGH PARKER.
One of the Poet's earliest friends.

In this strange land, this uncouth clime,
A land unknown to prose or rhyme;
Where words ne'er crost the muse's heckles,
Nor limpet in poetic shackles ;

A land that prose did never view it,

Except when drunk he stacher't through it;
Here, ambush'd by the chimla cheek,
Hid in an atmosphere of reek,

I hear a wheel thrum i' the neuk,
I hear it-for in vain I leuk.-
The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel,
Euhusked by a fog infernal:

Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures,
I sit and count my sins by chapters;
For life and spunk like ither Christians,
I'm dwindled down to mere existence,
Wi' nae converse but Gallowa' bodies,
Wi' nae kend face but Jenny Geddes.*
Jenny, my Pegasean pride!

Dowie she saunters down Nithside,
And ay a westlin leuk she throws,
While tears hap o'er her auld brown nose!
Was it for this, wi' canny care,

Thou bure the Bard through many a shire?
At howes or hillocks never stumbled,
And late or early never grumbled ?—
O, had I power like inclination,
I'd heeze thee up a constellation,
To canter with the Sagitarre,
Or loup the ecliptic like a bar;
Or turn the pole like any arrow;
Or, when auld Phebus bids good-morrow,
Down the zodiac urge the race,
And cast dirt on his godship's face;
For I could lay my bread and kail
He'd ne'er cast saut upo' thy tail.-
Wi' a' this care and a' this grief,
And sma', sma' prospect of relief,
And nought but peat reek i' my head,
How can I write what ye can read?-
Tarbolton, twenty-fourth o' June,
Ye'll find me in a better tune;
But till we meet and weet our whistle,
Tak this excuse for nae epistle.

ROBERT BURNS.

His mare.

TO JOHN M'MURDO, ESQ.

He was steward to the Duke of Queensberry, and a warm friend of the Poet.

O, COULD I give thee India's wealth,
As I this trifle send!

Because thy joy in both would be

To share them with a friend.

But golden sands did never grace
The Heliconian stream;

Then take what gold could never buy-
An honest Bard's esteem.

WRITTEN ON A PANE OF GLASS.
Blest be M'Murdo to his latest day!
No envious cloud o'ercast his evening ray;
No wrinkle furrow'd by the hand of care,
Nor ever sorrow add one silver hair!
O, may no son the father's honour stain,
Nor ever daughter give the mother pain!

THE KIRK'S ALARM.*

A BALLAD.

[SECOND VERSION.]

ORTHODOX, Orthodox,

Who believe in John Knox,

Of this piece Burns has given the following account, in a letter to Graham of Fintray:-Though I dare say you have none of the Solemn League and Covenant fire which shone so conspicuous in Lord George Gordon and the Kilmarnock weavers, yet I think you must have heard of Dr. M'Gill, one of the clergymen of Ayr, and his heretical book. God help him, poor man! Though he is one of the worthiest, as well as one of the ablest of the whole priesthood of the Kirk of Scotland, in every sense of that ambiguous term, yet the poor Doctor and his numerous family are in imminent danger of being thrown out (9th December, 1790) to the

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